Posted by:on November 27th, 2007
Dan Glowicki sent out an email last week asking if anyone had plans to skate Friday after Thanksgiving. What?! and miss the start of the shopping season? Brad suggested getting together to play golf as a change of pace. Why not a visit to a car dealership to test drive Hummers? Better yet, Cannonball run!
In February 2006 I took a solo trip to the Donald, Newberg, McMinnville and Lincoln City skateparks in ten hours round trip. I wanted to do it again sometime and thought it would be cool to finish up in Aumsville. Never could get it together though.
21 months later we have a few more choices. Building on the original run, I figured If we limited ourselves to 5-10 good runs at each place we could hit a bunch of parks in a single day. I drew up a list:
Burnside, Woodland, Battle Ground, Vancouver, Pier Park, Glenhaven, Holly Farm, Tigard, West Linn, Donald, Newberg, McMinnville, Lincoln City, Aumsville.
7:30 a.m. It was cold as we left my house in northeast Portland. The low that day was 29Â° and the temperature never got above 45Â° all day. Shawn Fendick and Rich Burton were both game but Rich only had until 1:00 p.m. I planned to log each stop with my phone cam to antigrav remote so people could see where we were and maybe join up. Shawn suggested shotgunning a beer at each stop but we wussed on that.
The original list was ambitious, internet mapping called it about 330 miles and over eight hours of drive time. I called it Buy Nothing, Skate Everything Day after the AdBusters anti-consumerist protest day. We discussed variations on the list: leaving out some of the more remote parks, staying in Oregon, having the Corvallis guys start from their end and meet in the middle somewhere… In the end we only got to nine of those parks – three in Washington and six in Oregon. The days are short at this time of year. Sunrise was 7:21 a.m. and sunset 4:33 p.m. Nine hours of daylight. Compare that to February 25, when I made my original run – sunrise was 6:03 a.m. and sunset 6:30 p.m. – 3.5 hours more. So how much skating did we actually do? Read on.
7:40 We skated at Burnside for 20 minutes. One other guy was there skateboarding. As we were leaving Shawn said, “that guy is just like me when I first started skateboarding again.” When he first moved out here he was driving across the Burnside bridge trying to figure out why Burnside sounded so familiar. Then he remembered and went under the bridge to check it out. Two guys pulled up on motorized scooters carrying a sixpack each. “You want a beer?” One guy asked. “You want to try my scooter?” Asked the other. So Shawn rode Burnside for the first time on a motorized scooter. His wife Jean said later that the guys had been wanting their scooter back before Shawn was done. Shawn started skating again soon afterward and says he used to show up at Burnside really early in the morning so he could skate with nobody there.
8:30 Since Dan would be joining us later in the morning, we decided to go ahead with the three Washington parks. The weather was clear and dry until we crested the last hill into fogged in Woodland, Washington. The bottom of the Dreamland bowl was wet. We skated 15 minutes in the recently added street section and had to avoid icy, wet patches.
9:11 We did better at Dreamland/Grindline’s skatepark in Battle Ground, Washington. we got 45 minutes of skate time – a little longer than we had planned as we waited for Tom Miller to join us. There were invisible icy patches in some of the shady pockets. Somehow I managed to get some bird shit on my pants. Tom pulled up as I was on my way to the bathrooms to clean up. Nothing like putting your bare ass on a stainless steel toilet on a freezing day by the way. As Tom skated into the park I remembered the invisible ice and just as I yelled a warning, I saw him hit eat it on a patch of ice at the base of the love seat bank. I managed to slip on another patch and fall on my ass a few minutes later.
10:30 a.m. We met Dan at Grindline’s Vancouver, Washington skatepark and skated for 20 minutes. A handful of people were skating but there were no bikes there. Dan hadn’t been there before. He was skating when we got there, I saw him land a few Grover jawbreakers over the big hip. Miller got the rock transfer from the big to little bowl.
11:30 a.m. Back to Oregon and Dreamland’s Pier Park where we found lots of ignorant new graffiti including a funny doodle of an inquisitive penis. We skated for 20 minutes, enough for a few door jumps and pipe hits. That park is so good, it was hard to leave.
12:30 p.m. We rode for 30 minutes at Glenhaven. Biggest crowd we had seen so far; Mike Shearer, Clay, Skreech Sandoval and a few other locals were tearing it up. Glenhaven was another new one for Dan. Coping seemed a little sticky in the peanut. This was the last stop for Tom and Rich but Skreech joined us for the rest of the trip.
After Glenhaven we stopped for lunch at a fast food place. Skreech was wandering around the dining room, checking out the jukebox, looking at stuff on the walls. I was thinking he was just restless when he called me over to check out a large aerial photograph of the neighborhood decorating the dining room wall. He pointed out a peanut shape with a dark spot in the deep-end that he said was rainwater. No telling how old that photo was but that was an empty pool.
1:53 p.m. We spent 30 minutes at West Linn and met young rippers Brogan Robinson and Adam Kays, usually those kids make me feel like a washed-up old man when I see them at a skatepark but Skreech was blowing minds. I saw him carve that tiny pocket on the side of the manual pad to disaster into the bowl. Over and over he would get in a weird position and you would think he was done, but he would ollie or footplant back in.
2:47 p.m. We were getting close to the end of the day and we still had a bunch of spots on the list, so we raced over to Holly Farm and rode for 15 minutes. There was a pretty good session going on when we got there. I just wanted to carve over the loveseat. Skreech rolled-in over it, then ollied-to-tail-to-disastered over it and later, did a huge transfer from the bowl over the deck into the bricks.
3:12 p.m. As we were leaving Rick MacDonald told us he had originally set out for Tigard but it was so crowded he just turned around went to Holly Farm instead. Tigard was indeed packed but again, no bikes, very strange. Steve McBride, Ben Wixon and others were killing it. Steve Grover, Brad Krohn and Gordon Gilchrist showed up so we decided to bag the rest of the list. We had about an hour and a half to skate Tigard before sunset.
Total skate time was maybe four hours with five hours of driving. We definitely could have squeezed in a little more skate time. It had been light out for 45 minutes before we got to our first stop, we took a short break for lunch, and made a couple of navigational errors that wasted some drive time. Would I do it again? How dumb is it to road trip your local parks? Okay, it was fun but it seemed kind of wasteful. Dan at least got to skate two new skateparks.
We gorged on the smorgasbord of skateparks that we have available to us these days. It might have been better to hit half as many parks or even just one park as long as we were dedicating the entire day to skateboarding. I’ll keep that in mind next time we try it.
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